Trump Administration Proposes to Consolidate Food Safety Authority into One Agency
In a June 21, 2017 document titled “Delivering Government Solutions in the 21stCentury: Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations,” the Trump Administration proposes to replace the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) with a single agency called the Federal Food Safety Agency. If the recommendations were to be adopted, the U.S. Department of Agriculture would house the Federal Food Safety Agency, and FDA would be renamed the Federal Drug Administration, which would focus on drugs, devices, biologics, tobacco, dietary supplements, and cosmetics.
Consistent with past reports issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) (e.g., its January 2017 Report to Congress “Food Safety: A National Strategy Is Needed to Address Fragmentation in Federal Oversight”), the Trump Administration plan characterizes the current division of jurisdiction between FDA and FSIS as duplicative and fragmented, citing as examples that FDA has jurisdiction over cheese pizza while FSIS has jurisdiction over pepperoni pizza.
Numerous attempts at consolidating food safety authority have failed since 1949. Given the current political climate, it is not clear that there would be adequate bipartisan support for legislation implementing the proposed reorganization.